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Mastering at home
Old 10th January 2003
Here for the gear
🎧 15 years
Mastering at home

I'm using PT/HD3 with expanded 192 and the "Dangerous2BusLT". What would be a good signal path from there for mastering at home. I'm talking somewhat reasonable in price (under $10,000.00). I'm thinking some kind of compression (multi-band?) and maybe a hardware L2 limiter. I tried an Alesis Masterlink, but that alone does not give what I want. The onboard dsp is not good enough and I don't need the cd24 option so it would become just a glorified cd recorder. I would like to end up with a redbook cd.

I have all the "mastering" software - Waves, TC MasterX, etc. and I could just record the output of the D2B back into PT but I'm not sure of the best way to proceed from there. I am trying to avoid any B-T-D.
Old 10th January 2003
Gear Maniac
Neve Sucks!'s Avatar
🎧 15 years
Cranesong HEDD
Cranesong STC-8
Cranesong IBIZ
Emagic Waveburner PRO
Old 10th January 2003

Thing is....

Mastering is best to take place on a day that is NOT the mix day...

I go

96k Masterlink mixes
SRC-ed to 44.1 via a Finalizer 96k with 'up down' chip
Into PT Mix + at 44.1
Sony GML eq
Finalizer normalizing & dither
44.1 16bit back out to Masterlink hard drive to make Red book master..

You have a potential for 96k 'high resolution' mastering with your HD rig that I dont.


Just busking here..
how about - record D2b mixes to masterlink via a nice converter set to 96k (?????) This allows 96k capture of 44/48 sessions & future 96k mastering.

on the mastering day record all the mixes back into a 96k PT MASTERING SESSION

er.... thats as far as I got... then I get befuddled... I've lost the gear 'magic' temporarily

hang on...... it is 'returning'

Either use plug ins and BTD or....

Your mixes then need to run out of PT at 96 k via cool outboard and make it back to the Masterlink at 44.1 ditherd 16bit where you can edit, compile & burn Red Book CD masters. (an L2 could perform the last stage before the Masterlink - so could a Finalizer or TC6000 or m5000 or Cranesong Hedd)

Old 10th January 2003
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
Does anybody have a grip on the reason that Pro Tool's bounce-to-disk sounds so bad? It just seems odd that it should be so obviously maimed without some attempt by Digi to address it. The first time I heard how bad it sounded on playback, compared to what was being monitored during the bounce, I was shocked.

FWIW, Paris' B-T-D is perfect. Actually ever-so-slightly superior to outputting via AES since there is no clocking of an additional external device in the process. When I like where I'm at in a mix, I just tag that little red button in the Master section and print to my HD with all my various naming conventions intact. As it should be.

It seems strange to me that all the thousands of PT users just accept sucky B-T-D as a fact of life. Somebody make 'em fix it, for cryin' out loud.

Brian T
Old 10th January 2003
It is supposed to have been 'tweeked' on the HD platform (and possibly Mix + as well - I am unsure)

It is supposed to be much better than it was.

That's the word on the street.

Newsflash over..
Old 11th January 2003
Lives for gear
adam_w's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Hmm...when using B.T.D in HD..IMWHO (The "w" is for worthless BTW ! ) use the Pow-r dither to take you down to 16 bit and Roberts your mothers brother if you can't go someplace to master that takes 24bit files or you can't take your rig...
Old 11th January 2003
Gear Addict
🎧 15 years
The Above in relation to Alesis HD24

Hello Neve and Jules,

Just wondering if you would mind commenting on this same issue but using the Alesis HD24?

I've been looking at the HEDD and the Masterlink. What would you think would make a decent chain of gear to master with the HD24? If you comment on this could you include the 24 bit and 96 stuff. I'm not able to navigate this with my eyes closed yet but I'm getting there. I'm going to be purchasing my final stage gear within 8 weeks and I want the highest quality bits and sampling that I can get for my meger thousands that I can invest for mastering. For example I may not be able to invest in a top flight EQ or Multi band Compressor right now. But I think I'd like to have highest possible sampling now. OK -- point me!!



PS. Can higher sampling be a precurser to more warm sounding final product. Disregard any warmth (or whatever adjective) added during tracking and mixing, ie. via tube preamps, compressors, etc. I'm specifically interested in the warmth or (better quality sound) enhancement that can be specifically accounted for in the digital relm in a hibrid analog/digital recorded product. Chaaaa russsssthat was a bagful.
Old 11th January 2003
Here for the gear
🎧 15 years
If I wanted to just take the out of the D2b back into PT and record that say into input 1-2, then open a new mastering session with that stereo D2b mix, then build a stereo aux with my mastering plugins (multi-comp and L2 or MasterX), then record the output of that to a new stereo track, and then use that stereo track in say Waveburner to make my cd.................. Is that the right chain to get around B-T-D?
Old 11th January 2003
MMM - yes

Woods - Is the HD24 96k??
Old 13th January 2003
Lives for gear
Alécio Costa's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I have not found such huge sonic degradation with all music styles involving BTD with PT.

generally record at 44.1/24 bits andn dither with Power at level3.

I fell that the bass shrinks a lot if I originally record at 48k/24 bits, bounce to 44k/24 bits and then bounce again to 44k/16 bits. Seems the low end gets a little weird.

Have you guys compared the quality degradation of BTD from 88.2 to 44.1 or 96k/192k to 44.1k?

Another thing I have realized is that sometimes the levals after bounce are not exactly the ones you saw at your final step decisions.
for example, I generally junior master with the oputput set to -.05 or -.1. But after the bounce, I would be seeing lvels up to 0db with occasional clips.
Guys have recommended using L1/2 at all bounce steps.

Old 13th January 2003
Lives for gear
Messiah's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Re: Mastering at home

Originally posted by mmm
I'm thinking some kind of compression (multi-band?) and maybe a hardware L2 limiter. I tried an Alesis Masterlink, but that alone does not give what I want. The onboard dsp is not good enough and I don't need the cd24 option so it would become just a glorified cd recorder. I would like to end up with a redbook cd.
Personally, if it were me, the first thing I'd be looking to add is a good EQ unit like a Prism MEA-2 or a GML 8200 (or 9500 if you want to break the piggy bank!).
Digital EQ is the first thing I hear on botched mastering jobs and it's the most important part not to compromise on, IMO, closely followed by compression.
I really love the sound of the SSL Quad compressors on mixes even though they're not multiband, they have a great vibe. So there's the Alan Smart compressors to fill that vacancy. I hear multibands badly used a mile off too and hate them! I can't actually think of a decent multi I'd recommend (anyone?).
I would look to get an EQ and compressor, the limiting (if you're looking at an L2) is just going to be used to bring levels up to 0 and crush, so you may as well use the software L2 for that and put the money into a good EQ.
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